3 big questions for Milwaukee Bucks going into Chicago Bulls playoff series

Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis, Chicago Bulls: Tristan Thompson, Nikola Vucevic
Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Sure, the Milwaukee Bucks don’t tip off their first-round series against the Chicago Bulls until Sunday, but there are still plenty of questions going through everyone’s heads once the series became official.

There was always going to be hype and excitement around any series for the defending champs, but having it be a division rival is a little more fun. They’ve played four times this season (Milwaukee won all four games), but each team missed key players in some of those games so it’s hard to take too much away from those meetings.

So, heading into this series, here are three of the biggest questions for the Bucks going into the first round of their title defense.

Can Giannis Antetokounmpo take advantage of the Chicago Bulls’ undermanned frontcourt?

Someone who didn’t miss any of the four games between these two teams was Giannis Antetokounmpo! He missed 15 games this season but made sure that he was in the lineup against the Bulls every single time.

As is expected in any series the Bucks play in, Antetokounmpo will be the focal point of their offense and against the Bulls, in particular, he will have a chance to really dominate.

In the four games, Antetokounmpo averaged 26.8 points on 60 percent true shooting and 37-of-61 (60.6 percent) on 2-point attempts. The Bulls, who got Pat Williams back, have a few guys they could throw at the reigning Finals MVP but none of them are… all that great?

They tried to throw Nikola Vucevic and  Tristan Thompson at him in one game and that could be something that Billy Donovan could use again.

Vucevic defended Antetokounmpo… fine, I guess. Vucevic held Antetokounmpo to 8-of-19 on 2s and forced five turnovers, but also picked up four shooting fouls. Thompson was just no match whatsoever for Antetokounmpo. The two-time MVP went 10-of-14 on 2s, dished out three assists, and drew seven shooting fouls on Thompson.

If that’s a frontcourt the Bulls want to use, then Antetokounmpo will have himself quite the series.

Williams provides an interesting option for the Bulls. A second-year player who was taken fourth overall in the 2020 draft, at 6’7″ and 215 pounds, he’s strong and mobile but may not be strong enough yet to handle Antetokounmpo over the course of a series.

These two played twice against each other this season and Antetokounmpo had relative success, going 3-of-5 on 2s, drew one foul, and added nine assists.

Expect Antetokounmpo to be front and center (as he tends to be) in this series against a frontcourt that won’t be able to keep up with him.